My Favorite TEDx Speech Of All Time Is…

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My favorite TEDx speech of all time has to be Simon Sinek’s “How great leaders inspire action,” a speech that has racked up over 32,000,000 views to date and has even inspired me to create a study skills training program for Secondary Schools all based on his 18 minutes TEDx speech.

But ironically, the reason why I love the speech has little to do with the speech itself.

I have watched probably over a thousandth TEDx speeches in my short lifetime (I am addicted), and I had never seen a speech with such low quality garner such high impact.

I mean the audio was poor, so poor that in the middle of the speech somebody had to come on stage to switch out Simon’s microphone. And the video was not any better, the room was dark, balloons covered the projector, and the stage was cramped.

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In addition to that Simon did not use a projector to illustrate his point, or shiny flashcards. He simply used a marker which he used to draw 3 circles on a sheet of paper hanging on the stage and then delivered his idea. And the rest as we know is history.


From that dingy speech he has been invited to speak to world leaders, he has published several best selling books and is now a TED rock-star responsible for several viral videos on the internet.

The speech is impressive because it teaches us one thing, and that is as long as your idea is powerful, can touch lives and make a difference, no matter (to a certain degree) how bad the audio is, or video is, your idea will still connect.

All Simon had working on that day was his idea, everything about the speech could have derailed his idea. He could have gotten upset about the popping mic, or the dark room or the small crowd, but he did not. He focused on his idea. And his idea is what made him successful.

A lot of times we get caught up in the aesthetics of things … How does my blog look? How does my video sound? What about the lighting and camera angle? How large is the crowd?

While all these things are somewhat important, they are not as important as the message you are delivering. If you focus on your message and not the aesthetics, you will have a greater chance of connecting with people, like Simon Sinek did at TEDx Puget.

Focus on your idea!



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
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3 comments on “My Favorite TEDx Speech Of All Time Is…

  1. Amazing!

    I loved this video when I watched it last year because of the great idea and it has helped me in my business. I must say I never noticed the oddities. I need to quit searching for excuses.

    Thanks, Ofili for sharing this simple truth.
    Ini latest post is Dear Ini, I am afraid to write – 2My Profile

  2. I didn’t watch it. In fact, I hardly watch TEDx. But after reading this, I’m going to hunt, not only Simon’s video, but others.

    “as long as your idea is powerful, can touch lives and make a difference, no matter (to a certain degree) how bad the audio is, or video is, your idea will still connect”.

    I’ll keep the above to heart. Thanks for sharing.
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  3. Thanks for sharing. The last part about MLK was awesome.

    By the way, I believe there’s a difference between TED and Tedx talks. TED is the real deal whereas a Tedx speech can be given by just about anyone.

    I remember a Tedx talk where the speaker talked about the best way to dry your hands (shake your hands 12 times after you’re done washing and then take a paper towel and fold it in half before using it to dry your hands.) I remember thinking how did this guy get invited to do a TED talk.
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